Everything you need to know about AT&T TV
Here's what we know about this streaming service
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Everyone loves to be entertained, and there’s a virtually never-ending supply of TV shows, movies, sports, and news available nowadays. Whether you want to catch the latest game live, watch a classic movie, binge your favorite show, or find out what’s happening in the world around you, it can all be beamed to the big screen in your living room.
The only problem is deciding whether you want streaming services, cable packages, satellite TV, or some mixture. There’s a wide array of options to choose from, and one of the newest players is AT&T TV. This service aims to be your one-stop entertainment shop by combining some of the best options out there into configurable packages that you can subscribe to with a single monthly fee.
But how does AT&T TV work? And how does it stack up against its competitors? We took a deep dive into the service to discover a little more about it and its offerings.
What is AT&T TV?
AT&T TV is a streaming service that enables you to access live TV, offers up to 55,000 on-demand titles, and gives you 500 hours of cloud DVR. When you sign up for one of the five packages on offer, AT&T sends you a device to plug into your TV, so all you need is an internet connection. There’s also a mobile app, and you can log in to AT&T TV in your web browser.
On your AT&T TV device, you can also install apps like Netflix and Disney+, though you will need separate subscriptions to watch them. The AT&T device is essentially an Android TV set-top box and it comes with a remote that has a Google Assistant button for voice searches and commands.
What’s the difference between AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now?
For a variety of reasons, AT&T has one of the most confusing collections of streaming services out there, and AT&T TV is among the most confusing in that it's named verys similar to AT&T's standalone, live TV streaming service, AT&T TV Now.
Both offer a range of TV channels you stream across the internet. But AT&T TV is billed as a premium streaming TV experience and it requires you to sign up for a two-year contract. As noted above, it comes with an Android set-top box and can also be accessed through the AT&T TV app, which supports smartphones, tablets, and devices like Android Fire TV and Apple TV. But in most other regards, it's more like a traditional pay TV service.
AT&T TV Now is a streaming service that requires no contract. You pay monthly and you access content through the same AT&T TV app, which supports smartphones, tablets, and devices like Android Fire TV and Apple TV. You might consider AT&T TV Now as a rival to other standalone streaming services that offer live TV, like Sling TV.
How much does AT&T TV cost?
There are five main packages on offer with AT&T TV. All of them come with the AT&T TV device, offer access to live TV, and give you 500 hours of cloud DVR, though recordings are automatically deleted after 90 days. At the moment, AT&T is also offering 12 months of HBO and three months of Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, and Epix with every package.
You have to sign up for two years and the monthly cost changes after the first year. There is also a penalty for early termination of $15 per month for every remaining month on your contract. This is how the prices break down for each package:
- Entertainment costs $49.99 per month for the first year, then jumps to $93 per month.
- Choice costs $54.99 per month for the first year, then jumps to $110 per month
- Xtra costs $64.99 per month for the first year, then jumps to $124 per month
- Ultimate costs $69.99 per month for the first year, then jumps to $135 per month
- Optimo Mas costs $54.99 per month for the first year, then jumps to $86.99 per month
There’s also a $19.95 activation fee and an extra “Regional Sports Fee” of up to $8.49 per month.
After the first three months Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, and Epix will cost $39.99 per month, which auto-renews unless you cancel. After the first 12 months, HBO costs $15 per month unless you cancel.
What do the AT&T TV packages include?
Each package includes a different list of channels and there are also premium channels that you can add to any package for an additional fee.
The Entertainment package offers 40,000 on-demand titles, and the live TV lineup includes ESPN, TNT, AMC, HGTV, FX, USA, Nickelodeon and a decent selection of other cable networks.
Choice offers 45,000 on-demand titles and adds local sports, lifestyle, and news channels to the live TV lineup. This includes Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and things like the Cooking and Travel channels.
Xtra offers 50,000 on-demand titles, and includes more live sports, movie channels, and a handful of other extras like the Golf Channel, MTV Classic, and Nat Geo Wild.
Ultimate offers 55,000 on-demand titles, and includes sports, movies, news, and international channels. It has everything in Xtra, plus the Starz network of channels.
Optimo Mas offers 30,000 on demand titles, and live TV covering sports, movies, and more in Spanish and English.
For a complete, searchable breakdown of every channel included in each AT&T TV package you should check out the AT&T TV channels web page.
Does AT&T TV come in 4K, HDR, and multiple streams?
The AT&T TV device is 4K and HDR capable, but there are no 4K AT&T TV channels yet. However, you can stream 4K and HDR content with the AT&T TV set-top box from services like Netflix, provided you install the app and have a compatible Netflix subscription.
You can have three simultaneous streams with your AT&T TV service. AT&T recommends a minimum of 8Mbps per stream for optimal viewing, so you would need an internet connection of at least 24Mbps.
What devices can AT&T TV's app run on?
When you sign up for AT&T TV you will be sent a single Android set-top box that plugs into your TV with an HDMI cable. You can buy additional AT&T TV devices for $120 each, or $10 per month for the first year.
You can also install the AT&T TV mobile app on your smartphone, tablet, or some other devices such as Amazon’s Fire TV streaming devices and Apple TV devices. The AT&T TV app is also compatible with Chromecast, so you can stream from your phone to any TV with a Chromecast plugged into it.
Additional incentives and bundles
AT&T is currently offering a $300 AT&T Visa Reward Card when you buy AT&T TV and internet service online. There are various terms and conditions.
If you combine AT&T TV with an unlimited internet plan on AT&T’s network, then you can get $10 per month knocked off your bill for the first 12 months.